Extracts from Ray Simpson's Book
Get ye up!
A man from the household of Jairus, the synagogue leader, came and said : ‘Your daughter has died; do not trouble the Teacher any more’.
Luke 8: 49.
The Travelling People have a special place in Irish life, and they can offer fresh perspectives on old truths. Travellers assume that anyone who has a house big enough to have stairs must be very important, so they call such a person ‘one of them’. Although many Travellers cannot read, they can learn and tell a Bible story like no one else, as the following version illustrates:
‘T’was like this. Jesus Christ was goin’ along the road and the sun was blazin’ an’ he was all sweatin’ and the crowds were all there after him; and they were shoutin’ and roarin’ and beltin’ each other. Then all of a sudden up cums a big man, important and one of them, an’ he drops down an’ looks up at Jesus Christ, and says to him: ‘Jesus Christ, would ye ever help me? Me daughter’s back home an’ she’s dead or near it. Would ye ever make her better?’ Say he: ‘I will, of course. Cum on back and show me where ye live’. Then back he goes, the two of ‘em, till they cum to the big man’s house and in they go. And ye know what? ‘T’was a house with stairs. Stairs all the way up, and didn’t Jesus go up them stairs, an’ he was nearly deaf ‘cos there was loads of women an’ they were bawlin’ and shoutin’ and he’s never heard anything like them. An’ he stops there on the stairs with his hands shuttin’ off the noise from his ears, an’ says he: ‘Will ye shut up and get out, the lot of ye!’ An’ didnt they do so, an’ there was just Jesus Christ there with the daddy an’ the mammy an’ the corpse. An’ says he to the corpse: ‘Get ye up out of that!’ An’ she, she opened her eyes an’ looks at him, an’ she’s able to get straight up there an’ look at him again. An’ she wasn’t sick any more. An’ Jesus Christ, he looks at her too. An’ he sees she’s well, an’ says he to the mammy, ‘Give her a cut o’ bread.’